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# Suggested Long-term Investigations for

K-5Classrooms

Kindergarten

How big will our critter grow? Measure your growing animal (using non-standard
measurements) over a period of two weeks.
Terrariums:
o Use your senses to make observations
o Create mini-terrariums for individual observation
o Draw pictures of the changes that occur during the school year

## Mealworms: make observations of the movement of the mealworms

o Students can draw what they see
Keep daily observations of weather conditions
o Clouds
o Temperature
o Sunny, rainy, cloudy
Effects of the Sun: Put different objects (ice cube, crayon, etc.) in the Sun and record the changes over
the course of a day.
Observe and record when the Moon is visible for an entire month on a calendar. Repeat periodically
throughout the school year.
Create a Data Chart of picture books that you read to the class. Record if the animals act the way they
really do in nature of if they act more like cartoons or humans.
Observing plants: observe and record the growth of a bean seed.
Grapes to Raisins

How big will our critter grow? Measure your growing animal (using inches) over a period of two
weeks.
Terrariums:
o Observe how plants change over time
o Place one terrarium in the Sun and one in a dark closet, observe the differences over 2
weeks

Mealworms: observe the changes that occur to the mealworms over a couple of months. Have students
keep a Mealworm Diary in their Science Notebooks.
Keep records of temperatures taken at the same time everyday for 2 weeks
o Discuss the patterns
Effects of the Sun: Put dark colored construction paper in the sun with different shapes cut out and
placed on it. Make observations over time of the changes that occur.
Observe other students at PE. Record the various ways that they move (straight, zigzag, back-and-forth,
round and round, fast and slow). Repeat every day for at least one week.

## Suggested Long-term Investigations for

K-5Classrooms

Sink and Float: Test a new object every day and record whether it sinks/floats on a data chart.
A Special Plot: Observe and record the different animals, plants, rocks, water or kinds of soil that is found
in a marked 1ft by 1ft plot. Observe the changes in the plot over a 4 week period.
Grow lima beans and label their parts as they appear.
Observe Butterflies/ Ladybugs in their environment.

How big will our critter grow? Measure your growing animal (using referents) over a period of
two weeks. See lesson in Nature of Science folder in 2nd grade Ideas.
Terrariums: Manipulate a variable (example: the amount of water, or Sun or darkness)

Mealworms, Butterflies and tadpoles: Observe the life cycles and have students record their observations
in their Science Notebooks.
Weather:
o Use a rain gauge to keep track of the rainfall
o Keep track of the temperature throughout the day for 5 consecutive days
o Put a windsock out and record observations of the wind at different times throughout the day, or
over the course of 1 week, 2 weeks, or a month
Compost Pile
Effects of the Sun:
o Create solar cookers observe the temperature over a 1 hour period
o Observe the process of evaporation using 2 containers of water, one open and one covered
Rock Candy States of Matter: watch sugar crystals grow over time.
Energy Survey: track the energy usage in the classroom over time.
Plant beans: observe and record their life cycle.
Taking the Temperature: Measure and record the temperature of air, water, and/or soil taken at the same
time every day for 2 weeks.
Measure Me: Measure and record the measurements of students body parts every month (head
circumference, length of wrist to elbow, hand span, length of knee to the floor, length of foot, etc.).
Create a rock collection and sort the rocks into similar groups based on their characteristics.
Investigate water: Measure and place water in an open container as well as in a closed container. Place
both containers in the Sun. Record your observations over at least one week.

Terrariums:
o Observe the needs of the different plants
o Observe germination and the reproduction of the plants
Evaporation: Create a puddle outside and have students observe the changes both qualitatively and
quantitatively over an entire day.
Mealworms:
o Track the mealworms changes, observe the life cycle from egg to adult
o Track the behavior of the mealworms in different habitats by putting one in a dark cooler place
and one in a light warmer place
Measure the temperature at different building locations throughout the day

## Suggested Long-term Investigations for

K-5Classrooms

Place a thermometer outside your classroom. Collect temperature data for one hour. Change the color
of the background and collect for another hour.
Solar Energy:
o Observe the changes in UV beads over 1 hour, making observations every 5 minutes
o Put different kinds of sunscreen on UV beads and place them in the Sun, record your
observations
Nature Square: Observe and record the population of plants and animals in the square once a month for
the entire school year.
A Snap in Time: Observe and record the changes in a Tree for the entire school year. Make your
observations at least once a month. Take digital pictures if at all possible.
Flowering/ Non-flowering plants: Observe and record the differences and similarities of plants.
Observe how plants produce their own food by putting a plant in the sunlight as well as one in the
darkness. Observe what happens to the plants over time. Pay close attention to the color of the leaves.
Collect the temperature in different locations around school at the same time each day and discuss
possible reasons why there are differences.
Place containers of water, sand, etc. in the Sun. Take the temperature prior to putting it out and then
every 30 minutes for 4 to 5 hours. Discuss how and why the temperature changes.

Erosion piles: Observe the changes that occur in the pile over 1 months time, record the observations
using quantitative and qualitative observations.
Terrariums:
o Create a model of a Florida ecosystem, using native Florida plants record observations
Mealworms:
o Create an experiment testing mealworms likes and dislikes (example: cool vs. warm habitat,
sunlight vs. darkness, carrots vs., apple slices, etc.)
o How does a mealworm respond to different stimuli (example: hot vs. cool temperatures)
o Observe and understand the metamorphosis that a mealworm goes through
Measure the wind speed and direction using science tools, collect and record every hour.
Effects of the Sun:
o Create solar cookers, solar racers, or solar lights. Record their behavior throughout the day, or
on different Sun type (sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy) days
Place steel wool in a small amount of water. Observe and record the changes over a 2 week period.
Create a rock collection that students can use to sort and classify into groups according to common
characteristics.
Have students carve a design into a large piece of sidewalk chalk. Place in a container and drop 10 drops
of vinegar over it every day. Observe and record the changes to the chalk. Make connections to chemical
weathering and its effects on statutes and buildings.
Review water evaporation by placing an open container of water outside (or in the classroom) and having
students observe what happens over the course of one week.
Life Cycles (mealworms, butterflies): observe and record the life cycles of living things.
Radishes: observe and record sketches of the radish plant as it goes through its life cycle.

## Suggested Long-term Investigations for

K-5Classrooms
Record your heart rate at different times throughout the day. Make inferences as to why it did or did not
stay the same (example: record your heart rate after PE, in the morning, etc.)
Terrariums:
o Use your terrarium as a model of the water cycle, recording all of the changes that occur within
this closed system.
Mealworms:
o Answer How does a mealworm get its energy?
o Design an experiment to test the preferences of meal worms (example: does a meal worm prefer
sunlight or darkness?)
Weather:
o Using science tools, measure humidity and barometric pressure on a daily basis for 2 weeks.
Discuss the results and predict future weather patterns.
o Track weather patterns using High and Low pressure centers.
o Observe the clouds and predict the next days weather based on the cloud types observed in the
sky.
Effects of the Sun:
o How does the Sun affect the Water Cycle?
o Record evaporation rates of different size puddles over the length of a school day using both
quantitative and qualitative observations.
Create a Moon/planet calendar: Record the shape of the moon, and when it is visible for an entire month.
Include any planets that have been sited.
Evaporation over time with salt and sugar water solutions. Collect data on the the amount of salt or sugar
added and the amount of material left behind after the water has all evaporated.
Acid rain weathering: Have students carve a design on a large piece of sidewalk chalk. Place in a container
and drop 10 drops of vinegar over it every day. Observe and record the changes to the chalk. Make
connections to chemical weathering on statutes and buildings.
Create a model Water cycle (Water Cycle in a Bag): Pour water in a Ziplock bag and close the bag. Hang
the bag on the window, or place in front of a window. Have students record hourly observations for the
first day, and then daily observations for the next week.
Create a Climate Zone bulletin board. Have students collect data over 2 weeks, (temperature,
precipitation, humidity, etc.). Relate their results to latitude, elevation and how close they are to bodies
of water.